Showing posts from April, 2013

Marysville 2 Melbourne - Race Report

What a race. Things definitely didn't go as expected. More on that later, but I'll start from the first leg. It's been quite a while since I've competed as part of any sort of genuine team. Being part of a relay was an intriguing venture. Used to being reliant on myself for the overall result, it was good to be in the different situation. I welcomed the concept of the extra pressure of putting in for a team brought with it. Fighting not to be the weakest link was a big motivation.

Full details about the race are on the website Our team 'MidYoungYounger' was in the open, 3 person relay category. I was doing the two run legs, we had John on the double bike leg, and Alan hitting the final two legs of paddling. The other two had both their legs back to back. My runs were on either side of the bike. That gave me the honour of starting on the gun and hopefully setting up the team. Then I had 2.5 to 3 hours while John hammered the pedals t…

In Between

What to do with the two weeks between races? The original plan was take 2-4 days recovery as needed after the half marathon. Next would be a session of very steep hill reps, a long run of about 30km at a relatively low intensity compared to the long runs over the last couple of months, then hit a moderate to high volume session of hill reps. After that, take it easy for 3 days leading into Marysville to Melbourne. The plan seemed good. Focus in on getting the technique specific fitness for the hills (both going up and down), revisit a bit of basic endurance without adding too much to fatigue and keep a good general volume of training before backing off to be race ready. Of course there is always a spanner to throw into the works.

I felt good for the first two days after the half marathon. The easy runs felt very easy, the heart rates seemed about right, but the speed was a little quicker than I usually run the easy runs. On day three, I was had the start of a cold/sinus infection so I…

Half Marathon - Emergency Services Games

Out of the four races, this is the main one I've had my eyes on. A half marathon in around the Steve Moneghetti Track, Lake Wendouree. The course dead flat, a mixture of gravel and bitumen path. Starting with a 3.1km out and back, then 3x6km laps around the lake. No where to hide on this one.

A liquid breakfast, and coffee on the way for the 1.5 hour drive. For the first time the weather was brilliant, brisk morning, little wind and great sunshine. Some rubbish talk and a relaxed warm up I was feeling pretty good. The original plan was to be in 1:22:00 shape, and of course hopefully faster. Time for execution.

Plenty of space up front from the starter's gun. I was in 3rd with the winner of last weekend's 10km cross country striding out ahead and fellow ambo, Adrian splitting the difference for 2nd. I wanted to keep the leader roughly in sight over the first few kilometres in the hope it could somehow keep me in contention. That didn't last as long as I wanted, and he …

Train & Peak

With four races in five weeks there is the enjoyable challenge of trying to find a way to improve from race to race. Having one week between the 10km cross country and the half marathon, doesn't leave much opportunity for a big session if I want fresh legs on race day. So what's the approach?

Sunday: Race, 10km Cross Country
Monday: Relaxed 14km over some of the more technical trails in Plenty Gorge. Keeping the intensity down, should help move the blood and lymph through the legs, but the difficulty of terrain should provide a technique challenge and stimulus for the smaller, intrinsic muscles used on more difficult trail that will come into play at Marysville and the Great Train Race in following weeks.
Tuesday: Easy 14km, but reasonably quick run back into different trails in Plenty Gorge. The legs were showing a fair bit of soreness carried over from the cross country, but they were flicking over nicely over the rocky ups and downs. Again general condition and technique for u…

Cross Country - Emergency Services Games 2013

Finally the tests start. Race number one of four over the next five weeks. First up, a 10km cross country. It is one of the many events of the Victoria Police & Emergency Services Games. Last year I was lucky enough to take the outright win, and this time I felt like I was in similar, if not better form. Of course who turns up on the day has a lot to do with placings. Whatever the case this time I was in the mindset for a top effort.

Weather conditions were perfect, sunny and warm. The course had some minor changes again this year. Looks like a bit of extra distance was added again. Consensus after the race seems there was an extra 600m or so for the 10km, or 300m for each of the two 5km laps. Even allowing for the issues with GPS accuracy, I've since compared last year's map with this year and it is longer. Not meant to be easy, and I prefer a course that is too long than too short.

The run starts with a decent uphill over grass, recently mowed this year, so not too slow …

Chasing Times

Into the final few days before the first of a series of races means there isn't much training I can do to add to my fitness. Call it tapering, peaking or whatever, the focus is now on ensuring I am recovered from training, have skills, efficiency, mental state and tactics to make the most of the fitness I have built. Seems like the ideal time to go over my recent preparation.

The outline for the training plan was:

My version of week is 8 days2 key runs:1 long1 intervals around race paceLong run alternates between 3 hour on trails, with 23-25km at set speed faster each timeIntervals progress with distance of fast pace, then increase recovery paceHill repeats are includedNear weekly hill sprints or drills for speed and techniqueAll other runs vary between recovery to easy but moderate volume effortsRecovery is importantBeing able to perform the key sessions at required standard is paramount

The details can be read in: It Goes A Little Something Like This.

Did everything work out as p…